Building Dreams with Your Business

Why are you in business? You might answer, “For money!” You might say you want a fulfilling career. Maybe you’d like to have a better life for you and your family, or a schedule that you set by your own rules.

You might even say you’re in business to achieve your dreams. But did you ever stop to think that your business might be helping someone else achieve their dreams?

It’s easy to lose sight of that concept, especially when you’re working hard to reach your own goals. But everyone has dreams, and it’s important to remember the role you play in the dreams of others.

Everybody Has A Dream

Helping the dreams of others come true is a pretty big responsibility. Your clients trust you with their project, but they also trust you with something far more precious. They trust you to handle their vision with care and attention.

Their vision may be a little ragged around the edges. They may not know how to express what they want in the specifics writers and designers need. They may splatter out ideas, subconsciously asking for guidance. They may want something so badly they can’t put it in words.

As a writer, a designer, a marketer, your job involves taking the time and having the patience to unravel the tangles of the client’s dream to bring focus to the project.

It’s a tough job, but when the tangles finally unsnarl, the picture becomes sharper, the path opens up and the way is clear.

Communicating the Dream with Honesty

One of the biggest problems that occur when clients have dreams they really care about is that they have trouble telling their service provider how they feel.

Sometimes, you’ll need patience to go through multiple revisions and get closer to that dream and vision. It may feel like the client is being picky, but that’s not what’s happening.

Clients with dreams are just afraid. They’re putting themselves out there. Their dreams are in your hands. They’re unsure. So they hem and haw, and they have trouble saying, “This isn’t what I wanted. Can we take another shot?”

Some clients might feel that the sample or draft you sent are all they have to choose from. They may feel that’s it, that they need to settle.

Let your clients know that it’s okay for them to say they hate what you’ve done. Tell them openly that they can completely reject what you’ve presented. That’s why revision policies are there – to give clients a chance to give you feedback and say that what you’ve done isn’t what they were looking for.

And that’s okay. Accept that your work may not match the vision of a dream. Be prepared to give it another shot with an open mind.

You’re the expert. Work with your clients, and help them along to reach their goals. Guide them gently, explain the process along the way, and help them find clarity so they can reach their dreams.

Power Tools

We all need tools to build our dreams. Building a dream house takes a hammer and a saw. It takes someone to cut the lumber and forge the nails. It takes an electrician and a plumber.

Look at your business in the same light, as one of the tools to help people achieve what they want. Treat each project with the respect and care it deserves because you may be working on helping someone build their dream.

Post by Agent X

Agent X is the name many mysterious and intriguing people take on when they guest post at our site. Their mission is to slip in like a thief in the night, leave you with entertaining, valuable and useful content, and slip away again - without getting caught.

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  1. I’m in business because I’m too stubborn and opinionated to work for anyone else but, disregarding that, you are dead right.

    In any given day, I help a lot of people, directly through consulting and indirectly through my websites, ebooks, etc.

    Honestly, that part of it is what gives me the greatest enjoyment. I might be making hundreds of dollars or helping a neighbor for free but the joy of helping someone out of their problem really is priceless.

    You definitely are building dreams. My work is more liking taming nightmares than buliding dreams, but the same advice applies. You need to be thinking about how you are helping rather than how much money you are making.

    Good post!

    Tony Lawrence´s last blog post…Google Friend Connect by Anthony Lawrence

  2. Well, I could have called it taming nightmares too, but I wanted to put a positive spin on it 😉

  3. Daggerquill Dwarf says:

    Hey Humans;
    Wow, this was enlightening. I always knew that humans loved dreams, dream-building, dream-attaining, etc, but didn’t know that they did it via the business world as well. Thank you for giving me greater incite into your very amusing race.

    P.S. Your web page design is an exceptional salesman for your wares.

  4. Urban Panther says:

    So, sending your client say, um, a banner and saying “Tell me you love this! You have to love it! This is brilliant and you have to love it!” perhaps doesn’t leave the door open for your client to comfortably say “um, nope”?

    Lucky for you, this client LOVED IT!

    *chuckle*

    Urban Panther´s last blog post…Birch bark

  5. Awesome post.
    This post makes me think of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech.

    “I have a dream today!”
    (Martin Luther King Jr.)

    That’s my favourite speech of speeches and quote.

    Businesses are there to help themselves and others either directly or indirectly. Give and take.

    I enjoy helping people whenever I can for whatever reason.

    Awesome landscape pic. too.

    For inspiration and motivation, I have landscape and wolf pics. and some greeting cards above my writing desk.

    Michelle Kafka´s last blog post…Writing Tool For The Writer/Virtual Office – Zoho

  6. @ Urban – That was actually the very first time I’ve ever done that in my life. You’re special!

    @ Michelle – Wolves and horses here… Oh, and a picture of bison. :)

  7. Urban Panther says:

    Oh, now I can go into the weekend as one happy blogger. The great James Chartrand has announced to the world that I, the lowly Urban Panther, am special. … sigh.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post…Birch bark

  8. Hey, hey, hey! Who said you were lowly! Not I!

  9. @Panther: You have to admit, it is a stunning banner 😉

    @Michelle: Hmm…no pictures here, but lots of Spawn figures…oh wait, there is one of a wolf. A watercolor done by a local artist.

  10. I like the new site. Thanks for the advice. One problem I have with the site is, its challenging to read with the cyan font. Maybe you want to use a darker one.

    Omar

  11. Harry,

    I guess I’m doing all right, because the first thing I though when I read “Why are you in business?” was “For my clients!”

    The next thing was “For money,” though. Nobody’s perfect. :)

    Clients with dreams are just afraid.

    SO true. I mean, that’s true of all of us, more often than we admit, but for clients? Whoosh, it’s right there on the surface. Makes communication a minefield of insecurities, unspoken dreams, and defenses you don’t even know about. Tread carefully.

    As well as letting them know that revisions are part of getting to the solution they want, I think communicating as humanly as possible right from the start is essential. Even when I talk with a plumber, his expertise makes me feel a bit disadvantaged and uncomfortable speaking up. Putting folks at ease by taking your time, speaking their language, and especially, acknowledging that barrier, can help prevent major missteps.

    Tweaking is totally normal. No design or writing pops out of the box answering every need perfectly.

    I agree completely, the more comfortable you make the client with that fact, the closer to their dream they’ll be in the end.

    Well-said.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Unlined Envelopes Save Customers!

  12. SPOT ON POST!!!

    IMHO the absolute WORST reason to start a business is to “make money”. If that’s your motivation -keep your day job – because you’ll be back to working a J-O-B shortly.

    You’ve got to have a driving passion – a dream – if you’re going to succeed. There are just way too many obstacles to success if your only carrot is the almighty $$$$.

    Kathy – Virtual Impax´s last blog post…You can’t make money sitting on your ass

  13. Kathy,

    It’s certainly not my only motivation (and even less so when I was starting), but y’know, I like carrots…

    Nothing wrong with saying that a few dollars will help us stay in business, eh?

    Until later,

    Kelly

    P.S. I *love* the title of your latest post. Running to read it now.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Unlined Envelopes Save Customers!

  14. My business is all about getting others to realize and follow through on their dreams, so yeah my focus is on getting people to clue in to the fact that they help achieving their dreams.

    And I do that by talking about my own dreams and my progress on completing them (one of which is the business, so it gets kind of circular 😉 )

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post…A Lab-Rat Looking for Paris: Carrie McK Interview

  15. You acheive your dreams by helping other poeple acheive their dreams.

Trackbacks

  1. […] That said though, I came across a good article by Harry McLeod over at Men With Pens today called Building Dreams with Your Business.  He hits the nail on the head with that post! Yes, often, as marketers, we can get sucked in to […]

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